Frugal February Food Challenge

Because I’m a vaguely alternative, semi-poor 25 year old, I had this awesome idea a few months back. It’s the kind of thing that will raise awareness of food wastage, help break the cycle of consumerism, and additionally save me a buttload of money. All good things.

Why don’t I just spend $0 on food for an entire calendar month?

I’ve always been interested in ways to eat for free, but I reckon it’s time to take it next level.

It’s February, which combined with “frugal” makes a pleasing alliteration. So, why not now?

I’m in the process of devising some rules for this anti-consumerist challenge. I’ve knocked together the following:

What’s allowed:

Food I’ve grown myself

  • my garden has tomatoes, red kale and basil. So that’s a lot of bruschetta for the month
  • eggs from the chooks at my community garden are okay too
Frugal February

Gardens are an awesome source of free food

Food I’ve dumpster dived

  • I’ll easily be able to find bread, fresh stuff, sugar, eggs, etc. in dumpsters around Melbourne
Frugal February

I’ve found some great stuff in dumpsters

Food I’ve foraged

  • I’m a novice forager but a friend has offered to show me some spots for fruits and stuff around the city
  • Feral Fruit Tree Map might prove useful, once they’ve approved my access
Frugal February

Foraging is an awesome way to find free food.

Food I’ve had in the back of the cupboard long term

  • think old rice, those oats I got at Costco two years ago, and ancient cans of beans
  • I am not allowed to stock up on these non-perishables the day before my food challenge starts. Only allowed to use what I’ve legitimately had in the back of my cupboard for a long time
Frugal February

These have been in my pantry for over 12 months, and without Frugal February may never get eaten. They’re fair game.

Eating at a friend’s place

  • if invited, eating at family or friend’s house for dinner is okay
    • not allowed to specifically ask to be fed by friends during this month

One coffee a day

  • this is my little compromise to make this less painful for myself
  • so, I’m allowed to either buy one coffee per day, or make one at home using ground beans I’ve purchased
    • it’s very unlikely I’d find coffee beans in a dumpster, but if I do, great!

What’s not allowed:

  • eating out
  • eating anything I’ve bought at the supermarket
  • eating at soup kitchens (those are genuinely for the homeless/people who are struggling)
  • getting partner/friends/family to take me out for meals
  • dine and dash

I’d really appreciate people’s opinions on how this challenge could be improved or changed in any way?

I’m trying to keep it doable (I don’t want to starve), but at the same time strict enough to allow me to highlight how we really don’t need to spend as much on food as we do, and highlight how much food is wasted in modern society.

Obviously there will be many blog posts on what I find, what I eat and how hungry I become!

Have you ever done a no spend or food challenge? Comment and share!